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Woman fell in shop after slip on muffin

Shopper had to have surgery after fall in supermarket in Dromahair

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Olivia Harte Lynch pictured at the High Court in Dublin

Olivia Harte Lynch pictured at the High Court in Dublin

Olivia Harte Lynch pictured at the High Court in Dublin

A Dromahair woman who claimed she had become an invalid after slipping and falling in a supermarket has settled her High Court action on undisclosed terms.

Olivia Harte Lynch (46), a law and business graduate and a working mother, was described as being a "shell of her former self" after allegedly slipping on a muffin.

Peter Bland SC, (with Mr Eddie Walsh SC, Mr Keith O'Grady BL and Mr Gerard McGovern, solicitor) for Ms Harte Lynch told the High Court in Dublin last Thursday, the third day of the action that the case had been settled and could be struck out.

He said Ms Harte Lynch was withdrawing her claim for loss of earnings. The terms of settlement were not disclosed.

Ms Harte Lynch, of Skreeney, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim, sued JNF McGoldrick Ltd, trading as McGoldrick's Londis, Main Street, Dromahair, as a result of the accident in the store on August 23rd, 2012.

It was claimed there was failure to remove the cake or muffin from the floor in order to ensure it would not constitute a trap or a source of danger.

Londis denied liability and contended that Ms Harte Lynch was the author of her own misfortune. It alleged she did not wipe her feet on entering the shop and failed to keep a proper lookout.

Jonathan Kilfeather SC, for Londis, said it was not being alleged by his client or the indemnifying insurance company, FBD, that this was a staged or fraudulent accident.

He said there was no doubt Ms Harte Lynch slipped and fell but the issue is whether the fall was due to any alleged negligence. Counsel told the court there was no allegation that the fall "was staged " and he said that was not the way the defendants were approaching the case.

There is a vast array of medical evidence on both sides which was "diametrically opposed." He told the court there is also an issue in relation to the nature of the injuries suffered and the sequelae.

When opening the case, Mr Bland said this slipping episode was life changing for his client, who had to have surgery and suffers from chronic pain syndrome since the fall.

Mr Bland said Ms Harte Lynch fell near the coffee area after entering the shop. When she got up , he said she saw what looked like cream and icing on the floor and thought it was a piece of chocolate from a cake.

He said Ms Harte Lynch told a member of staff at the deli counter what had happened and was told that 'actually dear, it's a muffin'.

Mr Bland said their case was there was no adequate cleaning system in place and the only cleaning system involved the floor being wiped with paper after the accident.

The case opened before Mr Justice Bernard Barton last Tuesday and he was told the action could take two weeks.

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